Naila Kiani with Gasherbrum II in the background. Image Credit: Naila's Instagram page

Islamabad: A Dubai-based Pakistani, Naila Kiani, who is the first female Pakistani mountaineer to successfully climb the world’s thirteenth highest mountain, Gasherbrum-II, has set out to achieve her ultimate goal: summit K2.

Her deep love for mountains inspired her to have a small wedding celebration at the K2 basecamp in 2018. The photoshoot in a traditional red Pakistani wedding dress made her famous as some locals gave her the title of ‘K2 Bride’.

Naila completed her Gasherbrum-II summit along with Sirbaz Khan, and Ali Raza Sadpara - the legendary mountaineer who died in Skardu in May this year after falling from a cliff. Pakistani mountaineers called Sadpara “master of the masters” who has trained a whole generation of climbers and had the honour of climbing Pakistan’s 8,000-metre peaks 17 times. Naila said she has decided to “dedicate this expedition to Ali Raza chacha.”

Naila Kiani became the first Pakistani woman to summit an 8000m peak Gasherbrum-II (8,035m) in July 2021. And she summited it right after having her second baby. Naila is a professional banker, who is currently living in Dubai. She is an adventure enthusiast and also an amateur boxer.

Naila’s K2 expedition is sponsored by the Bilquis and Abdul Razak Dawood (BARD) Foundation which consider her “a true symbol of empowered, strong, and resilient female athletes” in Pakistan. The Pakistani mountaineer thanked the foundation for supporting athletes and local talent and especially for promoting women empowerment and “encouraging females in Pakistan to take on adventure sports like mountaineering and explore the unmatched beauty Pakistan’s highest peaks possess.”

Naila left for Skardu on Saturday and will be accompanied by accomplished Pakistani mountaineers Sirbaz Khan and Suhail Sakhi. K2 is the world’s second-highest peak at 8,611 meters (28,250 feet) and is known as “a savage mountain”. Samina Baig, the first Pakistani woman to climb Everest, is also attempting to summit K2 this month.